UC looking into ‘gag reflex’ sign on off-campus house - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

UC looking into ‘gag reflex’ sign on off-campus house

A Facebook user shared this photo of the Stratford house over the weekend. (Facebook) A Facebook user shared this photo of the Stratford house over the weekend. (Facebook)
The sexually suggestive sign was taken down by Thursday afternoon. The sexually suggestive sign was taken down by Thursday afternoon.
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Tamera Wiener, 25, graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2013. Now living in Texas, she was horrified to see a graphic sexual message on display at an off-campus house of her alma mater.

A large sign reading, “Your daughter got a gag reflex?” was found hanging on the front of a house on Stratford Avenue Saturday. This was the weekend before classes started for the fall semester and some parents were helping their kids move in.

“I’m horrified and ashamed to be associated with UC right now,” Wiener said.

According to Greg Vehr, a spokesman for the university, the school found out about the explicit message when a photo of the house hanging the sign made its way to Twitter Thursday.

"Members affiliated with organizations on our campus were involved," according to a letter from the Undergraduate Student Government. "To those organizations, we encourage you to disassociate." 

The office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and University of Cincinnati Title IX are actively investigating the incident.

"The banner builds a predatory environment, and no student should ever fear for their safety on campus," student government added. "Undeniably misogynistic, the comments contribute to rape culture by objectifying women.  Our institution upholds the values of respect and Inclusiveness."

Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld took to Twitter to speak out against the controversial banner. 

"Offensive misogynistic sign by UC campus reinforces need for collective effort addressing rape culture," the Democratic councilman tweeted. 

While the incident happened off university property, Vehr said students can still be held accountable for off-campus actions. However, respecting a student’s right to free speech and holding them accountable to the student code of conduct can be complicated.

“Students agree to a code of conduct, which applies whether or not they’re on campus,” Vehr said. “Students agree to a code of conduct when they become a student at UC.”

Vehr said the university is looking into whether or not any students violated the code of conduct. As of Thursday evening the sign was removed, but it is unclear when it was taken down.

FOX19 NOW has reached out to the property owner but did not get a return for comment.

This follows a string of related events across the country including a 2015 incident when students at Old Dominion University in Virginia were suspended after hanging a sign that read "Freshman Daughter Drop Off" with an arrow pointing to their front door.

The university just kicked-off the investigation, but interim president Beverly Davenport already condemned the banner. 

"Thank you to those who saw something and said something." Davenport said in a statement. "It clearly is on us, all of us, to make UC a place of dignity and respect for everyone, a place where gender-based attacks, including verbal ones, will not be accepted, and where we will stand together as part of the solution for creating a safe campus for everyone."

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